Alternate title for this blog post: Selena Gomez has Lupus, reacts like every Chronic girl ever.
You’ve probably heard the news by now.
Remember how Selena Gomez disappeared for a little while somewhere in between being a doe-eyed Disney screen queen and becoming Taylor Swift’s #1 BFF? (No? That’s totes ok, Chronics. I’m more of a #TeamDemi, too, but let’s go with it.)
Tabloids speculated that she had entered rehab to hide out after her breakup with Justin Beiber. Had she turned to drugs? Was she teen-pregnant? Was she <Enter Salacious Untrue Assessment Here>?
None of the above.
Selena was in fact, chronic busy (See previous post: https://iamchronicallywell.com/2015/07/08/the-busy-bee/ )
While paparazzi camped outside her house, making up the craziest stories they could think of, Selena was tucked away inside dealing with the reality of moving forward in life with a chronic illness. She recently revealed to Billboard magazine that she has Lupus.
“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes,’ ” she says. “But I was angry I even felt the need to say that. It’s awful walking into a restaurant and having the whole room look at you, knowing what they’re saying. I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”
I feel you, girl.
Mmmhmm, your Chronic friends hear you loud and clear!
I “disappeared” the 2nd semester of my senior year of high school. Sometime after my birthday in February, my insides just decided to be done. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t shower. I thought I was just going to die from all the <yuck> my bodily systems were inflicting on me.
Pretty much <zero> people reached out to find out what was going on with me. When I showed up to the Mother-Daughter Senior Luncheon out of the blue in May, determined to remain conscious for the 1-hour my mom had promised to take me for, I’m sure it was a little confusing for my classmates who hadn’t seen me in a while. I know it was confusing for me, especially when one girl came up to me in the buffet line and laid it all out for me:
“So are you, like, in rehab or something? I mean, if you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine, but like, I know other people who have been, so like, you could totally tell me.”
I had spoken to this girl approximately 1 time in our shared high school experience, and I’m pretty sure that was to say, “Excuse-you!” when she bumped into me forcefully in the hallway.
It’s weird, to be going through something that is huge and monumental to you, and you don’t know what it is or what it means, or how you would even begin to deal with telling people about it. It’s weirder to find out that other people have been <falsely> filling in the blanks on your behalf.
Every Chronic has someone or a group of someones that we want to be like, “Yeah, but you know what…..!!!!!” and then spew about how hard/awful/difficult our Chronic lives are. We are angry, we are resentful, we are…
Yes. Quite simply, we are hurt.
Selena says: “I felt like I’d lost everything,” she says. “Just because it’s not plastered everywhere doesn’t mean I didn’t have my rock bottom. I’ve had my moments, and it’s almost unsafe for me to even talk about them, because I’ll be taken advantage of.”
Sure, Selena Gomez is talking about being taken advantage of and hurt on a scale that most of us can’t imagine- no one wants their personal heath situation debated on TV, the internet, and by jerk-face radio jockeys. But her sentiments really hit home. When you are in crisis-mode, you can’t see out. Being a baby-Chronic (as in newly diagnosed) is by far the scariest, most lonely time. The line between over-sharing and asking for support or acknowledgement is so misty. Where is it? Who do we trust-really? Who can handle us and all our Chronic baggage?
Selena seems to have a good support system (we should all be so lucky as to have a Taylor Swift-like bestie). Her parents live close and she has the financial freedom to pretty much do nothing for as long as she wants to/needs to seeing as she’s been a working actress/singer/celebutant since she was 7. But even with all of that at her disposal, when it comes down to it, she is the same as every other Chronic girl out there- glad to be moving on from the shipwrecked life of her past and swimming towards the shore of her healthier future.
“Gomez quotes the worship band Hillsong United to illustrate where she’s at now: “I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground.” Her lupus is in remission, and she says the key to staying healthy is “diet, routine and medication,” plus keeping the right kind of friends around.”
That’s all any of us can do as Chronics. In truth, as hard as it was for her, I’m glad that Selena decided to talk about her illness publically. I mean really, if anyone is going to get a “But you don’t look sick!” it’s going to be this girl:
The fact that she is honestly sharing does so much simply because it publically reinforces the idea that you can’t know what’s going on in a person’s life just by looking at them. So thanks, Selena, for being brave enough to be just like us ❤